Media talk at Rathaus

On January 27, 2018, the Vienna Ball of Sciences will take place for the fourth time. In a media talk Mayor Michael Häupl and the City Councillor for Arts and Science, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, today explained, why the importance of this  event. Oliver Lehmann, chair of the organizing committee, presented major topics and features of the upcoming Science Ball.

Vienna is not only the leading place of academia and research in Austria, but also one of the hotspots in Europe. Not only is the University of Vienna the oldest university in the German-speaking territories, Vienna itself is the largest university city in the German-speaking world. Currently, more than 230.000 people study, research and teach here at 9 universities, 5 universities of applied sciences, 5 private universities plus a number of research institutes. That’s 12.5% of the population, and more people than the amount of inhabitants of Vienna’s largest district, Favoriten, or Ausrtria’s third-largest city, Linz.

Member of the honorary committee and science councillor Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny stated: “Culture and science are the central qualities of this city. At the Vienna Ball of Sciences, these qualities are perfectly combined with each other. Scientific excellence will be presented in an open way. On the occasion of its 150th birthday, the University of Applied Arts will design the ball disco and the youngest university institution in Vienna, JAM Music Lab Private University, is providing a sample of their skills with an All Star Band.”

Organizer of the ball Oliver Lehmann presented the program and highlights of the upcoming event, where again classic ball-elements will be boosted with scientific knowledge: “The tables and ballrooms will be decorated with Edelweiß, which is much more than a symbol of the local Alpine Club. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Republic, we will explore its botanical qualities as well as its cultural contexts. A secret has already been revealed: the Alpen-Edelweiss is a migrant. It came from the highest steppes of Central Asia to the Alps. The microbiologist Sergey Zotchev and the historian Oliver Rathkolb (both University of Vienna) provide scientific input. In cooperation with the University of Veterinary Medicine, we will do some “Tracking in the Ballroom”. Musicians from the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna will strike up for the big opening ceremony. Followed by the Ballorchester Divertimento Viennese – musicians from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. At midnight we are looking forward to a fashion show with scientific lining.”

The refugee initiative “MORE” of the Universities Austria (Universitätenkonferenz uniko) remains an important partner: together with the ball partner Casinos Austria, all generated money at the roulette-table goes to “MORE”.

After presenting the highlights of the upcoming ball, Oliver Lehmann also introduced this year’s ball ambassadors. With their statements they underline the visibility of science in public life and show, how a lot of activities need much more research, than we would think at first sight. The ball ambassadors cover a wide range of professions and topics – writers, actors and university professors.